To some their pillow looks yellow, to others brown. Whatever color you see, there is one thing we can all agree on – your pillow is no longer the crisp-white color that it was when you bought it.
If your pillow case is white you may have noticed the exact same yellowing occurring here to, especially if you go too long without washing it.
It doesn’t make sense does it? While you may snore like Homer Simpson, your head sure isn’t yellow (And if it is, you should see a doctor). So where does this yellow colored stain on your pillow come from?
I have the answer for you. And no, they are not pee stains… How is that even possible? Even so, the answer is still pretty gross.
The most common thing that causes yellow pillow Stains is…
Now you may be thinking:
But I don’t sweat in my sleep!
But you do. And you probably don’t even realize it.
Unless you sweat excessively due to a medical condition, mild night time sweat is natural. It is simply your body trying to regulate your temperature.
Your face or head is going to spend the entire night smooshed against your pillow. Oils and sweat from the pores of your skin are going to work their way through your pillow case and onto the pure white pillow hiding below.
As the sweat dries, it leads to yellow stains on your pillow.
If you want to get technical, it’s not actually the sweat that is staining your pillow but rather a compound found within it, urea. Urea is what is responsible for yellow sweat stains.1
The yellowing is gradual and you may not notice it for weeks or even months. Those of you who perspire heavily or suffer from night sweats then you will notice the yellowing much quicker. But one way or another you will arrive at the same location, a yellow looking pillow.
While sweat is the most common cause of a yellow pillow, it is not the only cause.
Let’s take a closer look at other habits that may be contributing to your discolored pillow.
Sleep drooling is a surefire way to lead to a discolored pillow.
If you look closely at your pillow you will easily be able to identify the dried drool stains. As gross as it sounds, they look like fluffy brown clouds. If you are a chronic drooler then you may find that your entire pillow is more brown than yellow.
This is because drool quickly seeps through your pillow case taking with it any dirt and dust that rests on your pillow with it.
You should quit your drooling ways for your pillow’s sake. Here is a guide to help you do exactly that.
While it’s a good habit to shower before heading to bed, you will want to make sure your hair is completely dry before your head hits the pillow.
Just like with drool, the moisture from your hair can seep through the pillow case and onto your pillow, which in turn will lead to discoloration.
So do yourself a favor and whip out the hairdryer before you decide to turn in for the night.
Your night time beauty routine may contribute to your beauty sleep, but it can also leave your pillow looking worse for wear.
Moisturizers and toners that are not fully absorbed into the skin can mark up your pillow.
And of course, when you get home from dancing the night away at the club, remove your makeup. You know how your makeup turns your white bathroom sink into a disaster area? Well it does exactly the same to your pillow.
Pressing your make up clad face into your pillow while you sleep will cause make up to sneak past your pillow case and cause orange marks on your pillow.
You know how your makeup turns your white bathroom sink into a disaster area? Well it does exactly the same to your pillow.
Product break down
The manufacturing secret to that whiter than white look?
Optical brighteners and fluorescent whitening agents.
An optical brightener is added to the material during manufacturer to enhance the white appearance of the pillow. This serves no other purpose than to make the pillow attractive to the eye.
But over time, through washing and exposure to light, these brighteners will begin to break down, resulting in the pillow material returning to it’s natural but less white state.
It is worth mentioning that it can take quite some time for optical brighteners to break down. The other causes I mentioned above will have a far greater impact on the yellowing of your pillow.
Optical brightener breakdown comes into play when you wash your pillow and wonder why you can’t get it as white as it used to be.
Just because your pillow is stained does not mean that it needs to be replaced. Use our guide to determine when to replace your pillow. But don’t throw out your old, yellow pillow just yet. You can recycle it into something new.
Have you noticed your pillow has turned brown or yellow? How did you solve the problem? Let me know in the comments below!